U.S. government shoots down Chinese spy balloon, several other flying objects

Graphic my Marcus Ludes.

Graphic my Marcus Ludes.

Liam Frith, Staff Writer

There has been an odd spike in the number of flying objects entering U.S. airspace. Starting on Sunday, Jan. 28,, the first of many unidentified aircrafts entered U.S. territory over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Days after the spotting of this first object, it was determined by U.S. intelligence to be a Chinese spy balloon. 

It was again spotted by U.S. press over Montana. The following media discourse was filled with intense criticism directed at the Biden administration, which initially refused to shoot the balloon down over concern of citizens safety below, leading some to label Biden as being too easy on China. The supporters of Biden’s decision were quick to point out how the previous Trump administration spotted and allowed three high-altitude Chinese spy balloons to pass over the U.S. in previous years.

Eventually, the Biden administration took action, shooting down the spy balloon on Sunday, Feb. 4, after it floated away from populated areas to the coast of South Carolina. The act sparked criticism from the Chinese government, which issued a statement proclaiming the response as an “overreaction,” and the balloon as only a “civilian weather balloon.” Furthermore, China has blamed the U.S. for sending its own spy balloons over China in previous years– an accusation U.S. officials denied.

Since these events, three more high-altitude objects foreign to the U.S. have been spotted. On Friday, Feb. 9, a second flying object was spotted over Alaska. The following day, the U.S. Air Force sent two F-22 fighter jets to gain information about the mysterious aircraft and shoot it down. 

U.S. intelligence has since said that the object exhibited “no sort of propulsion” and described it as “cylindrical and silver-ish gray.” When asked where it came from and what it was for, a U.S. official explained “we just don’t have enough [information] at this point.” The mystery surrounding the second object has led many to bring up the topic of alien UFOs, with the ambiguity of the situation creating many possibilities. 

The same day the second UFO was shot down, a third unidentified flying object was spotted over Yukon, Canada. On Sunday, Feb. 11, the object was also shot down –  this time through a joint U.S. and Canadian effort. The object was described as smaller than the first identified Chinese balloon and, just like the last, “small” and “cylindrical.” A similar fourth object was spotted the following Monday on Feb. 12. This time it appeared octagonal and small. Both objects are still being identified.

Whether or not they come from advanced technology belonging to another nation or even planet, the questions and possibilities that surround them are endless. The closeness in time and appearance of the latter three objects point to the events of the first identified Chinese balloon, suggesting a connection among all four. 

Only time will tell the reasoning behind what is going on, as efforts to identify the shot-down aircraft remain underway.